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Reusable Django apps with setuptools

Project description

This is yet another approach on enabling Django to load reusable, pluggable, egg-based applications without changing the Django sourcecode. Think of plugins or components, e.g. django-registration, django-threadedcomments or django-tagging.

It uses setuptools for finding, handling and loading egg-based Python modules with a specific entry point, e.g. 'django.apps'.

Egg-based Python modules (a.k.a. eggs) are compressed packaged Python modules like Django apps. Every Django app can be converted to an egg distribution by using a special file.


Get the source from the application site at:

To install reusableapps, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the instructions in the INSTALL file.

  2. Add import reusableapps to the top of your settings file.

  3. Add a new setting to your settings file, a list of locations of reusable apps, in search order. Note that these paths should use Unix-style forward slashes, even on Windows.

    For example:

  4. Add to the last line of your settings file (after the INSTALLED_APPS and REUSABLE_APPS_DIRS setting):


Putting it together

Once you finished with above installation instructions, your settings file should look something like this:

import reusableapps

# ...




You can then put reusable, pluggable, egg-based Django apps in one of the directories in REUSABLE_APPS_DIRS.

Using templates from egg-based Django apps

If you want to use templates from a egg-based Django app please add 'django.template.loaders.eggs.load_template_source' to the TEMPLATE_LOADERS setting.

Adding support for django-reusableapps to your own Django app

If you want to support django-reusableapps in your own Django app, you need to modify your existing to import the setup function from the setuptools instead the from the distutils:

from setuptools import setup

Furthermore you need to add an ‘entry point’ to the setup keywords:

entry_points={'django.apps': 'myapp = myapp'},

where my myapp is the name of your Django app, e.g. registration. A full example can be found at and should be copied to the parent directory of your app as You are then able to create an egg file with of this app.

Creating egg files of reuasable Django apps

Once you have a proper in the parent directory of your Django app, you can run:

python bdist_egg

to build a egg file of it. It will be created in the dist directory and have a filename like dummyapp-0.1-py2.5.egg. You can then distribute it and use it by placing it in one of the REUSABLE_APPS_DIRS of your Django project.


Please leave your questions and problems on the designated Google Code site.

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